Tofu-burger stir-fry

10 Nov

I just received an excessively early renewal notice for Glamour magazine.

And I made a mental note to consider cancelling the remaining time on my subscription.

Not only do I already have too large a pile of waiting-to-be-read magazines (and other recently read ones partially responsible for my long absence on this blog!), but I detest Glamour’s new focus on reader-driven content. “I want advice from experts! And well-crafted first-person essays from thoughtful writers!” I’ve mourned while enduring yet another list of patched-together paragraphs solicited from myriad “regular” women.

So I reminded myself to support only the best in the foundering magazine business when I heard, a few weeks ago, about the demise of Gourmet—a magazine I’d always perused in the grocery-store checkout line but never given my full attention. I’m unsure of the magazine’s policies on reader- vs. expert-driven content, but I’m assuming a commitment to the latter since I encountered a link—on, of all places, a food blog—to this impassioned article by my PBS favorite Christopher Kimball.

The America’s Test Kitchen host blames the death of Gourmet on the growth of food blogs. And then, in his final two paragraphs, he eloquently illustrates the main reason for my initial hesitation about entering the blogosphere. “Google ‘broccoli casserole,'” he challenges New York Times readers, “and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise. . . .”

So, in honor of the expertise of America’s Test Kitchen and my own continuing uneasiness with the instant “publication” of amateurs’ writing via the Internet, I’m posting one of my first self-developed gluten-free recipes with this disclaimer: I am an amateur “cook-er.” I tried this recipe four times, but I never felt complete satisfaction with the inconsistent results. Yet still I found the dish delicious. And, as hoped and anticipated, it reminded me of my pre-gluten-free favorite takeout order from a special nearby spot called Jin’s China.

2 Trader Joe’s Organic Tofu Veggie Burgers

10–15 snow peas

1 and 1/2 handfuls of carrot chips, cut lengthwise

4–5 white cabbage leaves, torn into large pieces

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of uncooked rice

Boil the snow peas, carrots, and cabbage in water seasoned with garlic salt. In a separate pot, add 2 and 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the rice and bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until finished.

In a nonstick frying pan, saute the garlic in a generous amount of olive oil. When the vegetables are soft, add them to the garlic and continue sauteing. Then chop each veggie burger into approximately nine pieces and add to the pan. Add more oil, as well as a dash of the leftover water from the vegetables, if needed. Season with a generous amount of garlic salt.

(My boyfriend, quite unlike me, found the veggie burgers in need of a dousing in San-J Tamari Sauce. In previous “tests” of this recipe, I did try that soy sauce substitute, as well as dashes of vegetable stock, honey, and cornstarch. I returned to the garlic salt alone, however, for I believe it to be a wonderfully subtle complement—unlike the overpowering tamari—to the harmonious flavor of these veggie burgers. In fact, I’ve reread the simple list of ingredients—tofu, sunflower or canola oil, yellow onion, carrot, kale, tapioca starch, sea salt, and garlic powder—countless times as I’ve tried to discern the secret to these amazing concoctions.)

Allow the ingredients to simmer and the vegetables to absorb flavor from the burgers. Spoon rice into two bowls, top with the vegetable/burger stir-fry, and enjoy an expertly written article from a favorite magazine subscription. (May I suggest Marie Claire?)

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